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View Full Version : Unicode, Polytonic Greek keyboard map, and Bwgrkl - problems & questions



tabiblia
01-15-2013, 04:00 PM
Two Greek font/keyboard questions:

(1) For years (since mid-1990s), I've used Bwgrkl font as my default, go-to way of typing Greek. Now, however, I need to use the unicode Greek characters for a current project. I'm so used to typing fast using the bwgrkl keyboard map that I keep making mistakes using the "Greek Polytonic" keyboard layout through Windows. Is it difficult to remap that keyboard so it matches the keystrokes for Bwgrkl? Or has someone already done this in a way that can be downloaded and installed on a PC? (Btw, I'm using Windows XP, Word 2010, BW 9.)

Also... (2) I'm trying to use a document on a group project that was written using Greek in unicode characters. But for some reason, no diacritical marks are showing up... nor any letter with diacritical marks. I use a PC, Windows XP, Microsoft Word 2010. Another member of the group uses the same setup (except Windows 7 instead of XP) and the Greek text appears correctly with diacritical marks. We can't figure out why it won't on my PC. Any suggestions?

I've attached a jpg screenshot of Rev 1:1 to show the unicode diacritical mark problem.

Thanks in advance,
--ta biblia1051

tabiblia
01-15-2013, 05:17 PM
Ok, another friend involved in this group project got the diacritical marks to show by changing the font to SP Ionic font... even though on a machine with Windows 7, that is not necessary for the marks to appear. So is this a Windows XP shortcoming that Windows 7 can accommodate? I dunno. Thanks in advance.

Glenn Weaver
01-16-2013, 08:55 AM
While the Times New Roman font name is the same, the fonts differ between some Windows versions. Windows 7 has a more complete font than is found in XP. This is why the diacritical marks do not appear on your XP machine.

Blessings,
Glenn


Ok, another friend involved in this group project got the diacritical marks to show by changing the font to SP Ionic font... even though on a machine with Windows 7, that is not necessary for the marks to appear. So is this a Windows XP shortcoming that Windows 7 can accommodate? I dunno. Thanks in advance.

MGVH
01-16-2013, 10:28 AM
... I don't think Glenn is right. (Yikes... I'm waiting for lightning to strike me or something. Well, I'm still here, so I'll continue.)

SP Ionic is one of the old style TrueType fonts, so if changing from Times New Roman to SP Ionic displays the characters, then it means that the text is not Unicode.
If you can change the font, for example, to SBL Greek or Cardo, and it looks good, then you are using Unicode.

To get back to your original issue, there are a variety of Unicode Greek keyboards you can use.
Check my blog post (http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2012/09/typing-unicode-greek-hebrew-and-more.html). In particular:

I don't like the way that the Logos keyboards construct the polytonic Greek characters, but it's pretty easy to modify their existing Greek keyboard to switch letters around. (E.g., I switched ξ and χ.)
I haven't checked closely, but the Tyndale keyboard may be fairly close to the BWGRKL keyboard.
Tavultesoft has a number of different Greek keyboards you can try. (And if you want to spend more, you can program your own layout.)

Glenn Weaver
01-16-2013, 10:52 AM
Hi Mark,

You are correct that SP Ionic is not a unicode font. The issue of unicode only applies to the question about keyboard. Thank you for that info, as I haven't worked in that area.


Back to the issue of the document display -- according to the original poster the document appears correctly on Win 7, but not on Win XP, in both cases using Times New Roman. Therefore, the problem most likely appears to be with the Times New Roman font. The TMR font shipped with Win XP SP2 is version 3.00, while the TMR font shipped with Win 7 is version 5.05. The number of characters and character ranges increased significantly in the Win 7 font. See the following Microsoft links:


TMR in Win XP: http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/font.aspx?FMID=1126

TMR in Win 7: http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/font.aspx?FMID=2091

Blessings,
Glenn




... I don't think Glenn is right. (Yikes... I'm waiting for lightning to strike me or something. Well, I'm still here, so I'll continue.)

SP Ionic is one of the old style TrueType fonts, so if changing from Times New Roman to SP Ionic displays the characters, then it means that the text is not Unicode.
If you can change the font, for example, to SBL Greek or Cardo, and it looks good, then you are using Unicode.

To get back to your original issue, there are a variety of Unicode Greek keyboards you can use.
Check my blog post (http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2012/09/typing-unicode-greek-hebrew-and-more.html). In particular:

I don't like the way that the Logos keyboards construct the polytonic Greek characters, but it's pretty easy to modify their existing Greek keyboard to switch letters around. (E.g., I switched ξ and χ.)
I haven't checked closely, but the Tyndale keyboard may be fairly close to the BWGRKL keyboard.
Tavultesoft has a number of different Greek keyboards you can try. (And if you want to spend more, you can program your own layout.)

MGVH
01-16-2013, 12:21 PM
You are indeed right about the Times New Roman fonts, Glenn (!), but there still is something goofy going on w/ the original poster's issue.

If you type something in Unicode, you should not be able to change the font to SP Ionic. None of the SP Ionic characters are in the Greek Unicode range. (You simply cannot change Unicode characters that are out of a TrueType's range into anything in that range.)
If you type something in an old style Greek TrueType font (bwgrkl, SP Ionic, etc.), when you try to change it to a Unicode font, you should get only English characters. (Because the TrueType fonts are all in that range.)


So, now that I think about it, I'm guessing that the text is indeed in Unicode. The claim that changing it to SP Ionic made the marked Greek characters appear is probably wrong. Rather, trying to change it to SP Ionic forced the system to read the Unicode and apply the Times New Roman font, and hence, you will get different results depending on whether you were using WinXP or Win7 TimesNewRoman.

See, we were both right!

Glenn Weaver
01-16-2013, 12:32 PM
Font issues can be difficult, especially since we don't have the original document to look at. Thanks for commenting on this, Mark.

Blessings,
Glenn


You are indeed right about the Times New Roman fonts, Glenn (!), but there still is something goofy going on w/ the original poster's issue.

If you type something in Unicode, you should not be able to change the font to SP Ionic. None of the SP Ionic characters are in the Greek Unicode range. (You simply cannot change Unicode characters that are out of a TrueType's range into anything in that range.)
If you type something in an old style Greek TrueType font (bwgrkl, SP Ionic, etc.), when you try to change it to a Unicode font, you should get only English characters. (Because the TrueType fonts are all in that range.)


So, now that I think about it, I'm guessing that the text is indeed in Unicode. The claim that changing it to SP Ionic made the marked Greek characters appear is probably wrong. Rather, trying to change it to SP Ionic forced the system to read the Unicode and apply the Times New Roman font, and hence, you will get different results depending on whether you were using WinXP or Win7 TimesNewRoman.

See, we were both right!

tabiblia
01-16-2013, 09:24 PM
It's been a long day, my apologies for not checking this thread sooner. Thank you ALL for such helpful responses!

Actually, I mistyped in my update... my apologies for the confusion... it was SBL Greek, not SP Ionic... when the diacritical marks appeared... so yes, it does appear to be in unicode.

So is this newer version of Times New Roman truetype font available for me to download and install without having to upgrade to Windows 7?

And thanks for mentioning the keyboard maps. I'll have to check those out.

Thanks again to EVERYONE!